Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has been awarded LEED Silver Certification LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for its building renovation. 

The renovation achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. 

Green buildings allow organizations to operate more sustainably and give the people inside them a healthier, more comfortable space to work.

“Safety in all forms is a primary goal at WC&S,” said Nicole Molinaro, WC&S President/CEO. “This building renovation and the high standards set forth by LEED help prioritize the comfort and health of survivors of domestic violence and their children. The increased life cycle of the materials and energy conservation allow us to operate at a reduced cost and commit more resources to the safety and healing of survivors.”

WC&S partnered with Rothschild Doyno Collaborative for the building renovation with a goal of creating a sanctuary environment for survivors of domestic violence and their children. 

  Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh  Rothschild Doyno Collaborative won the Social Equity in Design Award in 2019 by the American Institute of Architects, Pittsburgh Chapter, for the project.  Read more here.

“The creation of the sanctuary environment is focused on making a warm and welcoming space that helps to rebuild trust in oneself and others,” said Melanie Buzgan Dower, Principal at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. “By utilizing familiar, natural materials and elevating access to nature, light, and modulated control of one’s surroundings, we were able to align the goal of creating a home that fosters healing, connections, and recovery from trauma with the creation of a healthier and more sustainable building.” 

Rycon Construction Inc. thoughtfully and meticulously completed the construction of the entire facility, carefully collaborating through phased construction to assure un-interrupted and secure functioning of the vital shelter services provide by WC&S. 

Dunham reGroup guided decision making as a steward of the economic implementation of the project, playing the role of Owner’s Representative. 

"Everything WC&S represents is about breaking the cycle of violence across generations," said Ken Doyno, Senior Principal at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. "There is an urgent need to change how we build in relation to how our planet sustains all living things, including fostering an upward spiral of healthy and honest actions and relationships.”

“Green building standards like LEED provide third party assurance that design, construction, and building operations are completed in a way that enhance human health for all occupants, minimize environmental impact, and create economic savings through reduced operating costs,” said Jenna Cramer, Executive Director at Green Building Alliance. “Those benefits are extremely important for a place like WC&S and benefits all those they serve. The LEED certification contributes to our region’s long legacy of leadership in green building and sustainable design.”

“Achieving LEED certification is more than just implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC. "Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role buildings play in that effort, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh is creating a path forward through their LEED certification.”

Certification is proof that buildings are going above and beyond to ensure the space is constructed and operated to the highest level of sustainability. 

More than 49,300 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 2.6 million square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 178 countries and territories.

To learn more about green innovation in the Pittsburgh Region, visit the Pittsburgh Green Story website.

[Posted: April 13, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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